Epistaxis, commonly referred to as a nosebleed or bloody nose, can be frightening for the person who experiences it and can cause much anxiety. It is estimated that 1 in 7 people will experience a bloody nose at some point.

Epistaxis is defined as an acute hemorrhage that can originate from one of three places, the nostril, the nasal cavity, or the nasopharynx. It is further classified on the basis of the main site of bleeding. Anterior hemorrhage is the most common site of epistaxis, usually originating from the nasal septum. Posterior bleeds are less common, but may be more severe and are more likely to require professional care.
Epistaxis has a peak incidence in childhood, between the ages of 2 and 10, and in adulthood between the ages of 50 and 80 years. Mortality from a bloody nose is rare. When mortality occurs, it is usually due to severe hypovolemia (volume loss) and may be complicated by an underlying condition. Increased morbidity has been attributed to the use of nasal packing which can lead to respiratory depression and airway compromise. Nasal packing may also
have infection as a complication.